Climate change predictions

I was interested to see in the week-end press the story that the IPCC, the UN’s climate change specialists, is about to remove its forecast that the glaciers of the Himalayas will melt away by 2035. There is a new caution afoot about global warming predictions, in the wake of the controversy about Mr Gore’s forecast that the Arctic sea ice could disappear in a few years.

There was also a story saying the BBC is going to look at other weather forecasters than the Met office, after their run of predicting much warmer weather than we have been experiencing. I doubt if in the end the Met will pay a contractual price for their BBQ summer and mild winter, but watch this space.

Global warming theorists do need to produce credible forecasts we can monitor and which turn out to be accurate, if they wish to win over the sceptical to their viewpoint.

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87 Comments

  1. SimonC
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    The recent bad weather (if it's not just a normal weather blip, which of course it could be) can be explained in terms go global warming.
    There's a theory that the decrease in salinity of the far North Atlantic caused by melting ice and permafrost reduces the force of the descending cold water that drives the deep ocean currents that in turn drive the gulf stream.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/2003/bigchil

    for those that are interested in reading more.

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted January 18, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      So global warming causes colder winters AND warmer winters, what ever the results, it's global warming! This would have been more credible had it been advanced before the event, as it was, we were told "warmer, wetter winters"

      Finding pseudo-justifications after the event is easy but not convincing.

    • waramess
      Posted January 18, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      So, there you have it, a natural hedge-maybe you see it and maybe you don't.

      If hell freezes over then the warmists will have won.

    • Little Black Censore
      Posted January 18, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      Fortunately the recent bad weather has been succeeded by a few days of climate, but we are warned that another spell of weather may be moving our way.

    • Emil
      Posted January 18, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      Oh my aching sides. These zealots can provide explanations proving black is white and not show a jot of shame. And in the case that "we don't know" is the only credible answer then heck, just make the data up, add a touch of computer modelling stardust and voila – man made global warning's the answer, irrespective of the question.

      • Number 7
        Posted January 19, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        As Simon C has raised the old Gulf Stream chestnut maybe he can explain how the Gulf stream can affect China and North America.

        Straws and clutching at methinks.

    • Amanda
      Posted January 18, 2010 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

      Which doesn't begin to explain why New Zealand is having a wet summer, or why it is so cold across the Northern hemisphere form Canada to China.

      However, even if one accepted that it was true, then it also makes a nonsense of forcast temperature rises, because obviously ocean currents are working in the other direction.

      There is no logic or thinking applied with this 'theory', it is the act of desparate people grasping at straws to shore up their 'religion'.

  2. English Pensioner
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I am quite hapy to believe in global warming, climate change, or whatever the so-called experts prefer to call it. I am happy to accept that change is happening (as it has since the world began) and that it is sensible to have impartial experts watching the situation.
    However, what I have not seen anywhere is genuine, scientifically acceptable, proof that this change is man made. Yes, there are lots of theories, some quite plausible, but in my view, none of them offer adequate proof for any government to use them as a foundation for long term policy, particularly when the policy concerned can have such adverse effects on the economic well-being of the country.

  3. Magelec
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I suggest all politicians read Christopher Booker's book entitled 'The Real Global Warming Disaster'. Maybe the political climate change doomsters will realise all the disgraceful and underhand tactics that have been carried out by the IPCC and vested interests (Gore included) to supress truthful and scientific discussion. I really wonder if internationally we are all governed/ruled by alians.

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted January 18, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Having read the book over Christmas, I have to agree with you.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted January 18, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      And now he, and Richard North are onto Mr Pachauri who is head of the IPCC and an employee of TERI. TERI has strange finances where money seems to be pouring in, yet only a measly £10,000 is on the books. This means they do not have to publish accounts. Luckily we know this is all above board because Mr Pachauri (words left out-ed) looks like a guru. And, just to make sure, he wrote a letter to the Telegraph too. So that's all right: he is a poor man who is driven by idealism and a strong desire to save the planet.

  4. alan jutson
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Once again it is the Press and the Media which have swallowed these predictions and statements, and hoodwinked the General Public, without any forensic examination or requests for facts.

    Perhaps our problem is the 24 hour News Culture, where each source is trying to "out do" their competitors at almost any cost.

    The more sensationalist the reporting the better, and what better headline than "We are all Doomed."

    Good old fashoined facts are not in fashion. The old saying of follow the money (who is to gain) is always good to remember, and often leads to the real truth.

    Yes Climate change does happen, it has always been the case, but the jury and the solution are still out at the moment on (weather) it is man made, can be controlled by man, and by creating more and more taxes and restrictions.

  5. tk
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    This w/e's MSM revelation about glacier melting (not) has been "floating"! around for quite a while in the professional opinion blogs etc. As one retreats another grows. I believe there is more concern growing about the effects of soot dust pollution from downwind China (amongst the Chinese) causing some adverse effects.
    Similarly, cessation of the gulf stream has happened in the past, probably due to sudden massive influx of fresh water into the ocean from a Canadian inland sea, this plunged northern Europe into a brief ice age, thousands of years ago. The AGW ….. version couldn't happen now as there is no liquid reservoir available. Mind you, without the gulf stream our climate would be similar to Siberia
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/17/glaciers-in

    There is no sign of Greenland cooling.

    I think it would serve the Met Office right if they did start losing commercial contracts if they are incapable of giving reasonable medium term forecasts due to their global warming obsession. Just looking at their website is enough to put anyone rational off their bbq. Maybe they should change their director, a rabid AGW acolyte.

    Finally, and thanks to Mr Redwood and colleagues, it's quite a revelation to see how, with the changing political climate, experts, so long fearful and gagged by the socialist destruction machine, are starting to tell the truth about the control freak scaremongering shibboleths of socialism. If CMD&Co win the election, PLEASE don't let them cock it up. Just get real.

  6. Neil Craig
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    "Global warming theorists do need to produce credible forecasts we can monitor and which turn out to be accurate, if they wish to win over the sceptical to their viewpoint"

    However this is possible only if their basic claim, that we are sufering catastrophic warming, is close to true.

    So I suspect we will continue with "the debate is over", lies, personal attacks, scientific grant giving powers used to suppress dissent, the rebranding of catastrophic global warming as "climate change" so that anything including cooling becomes "evidence". However we will also see a backing away from any personal invovement by many (eg the BBC producing an "investigation" into whether their coverage has been even handed).

    What we will not see is laws & taxes brought in to mfight CAGW removed, which is important for the carbon trading rules (carbon certificates are set to become the world's #1 traded commodity making possibly trillions for scammers – this has already led to the closure of Teeside steel) & even worse, the legal rules now in force requiring us to cut UK carbon production & thus the entire economy by 50% & ultimately 80%. This is insane but it is law.

    Finally we must expect the eco-fascists to shortly come up with some new scare (global cooling, nanotech, salt, passive drinking, satelite TV or the internet frying our brains, Gaia getting angry & releasing Gremlins) or revamping old ones (ice age, pollution, peak oil, peak everything else, Y2K #2, nuclear power, passive smoking, overpopulation, pollution etc).

  7. Tony Wildish
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    John, in one of your recent posts, you claimed to know the difference between climate and weather. Yet here you are, confusing them again, by mixing statements about MET office weather forecasts with statements about climate change.

    As for the glaciers in the Himalayas, the key point is that they are disappearing, very fast, not that we don't know the exact date they will disappear forever.

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted January 18, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      Er, it's not a key point as even the IPCC themselves now admit
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/701171

      • Tony Wildish
        Posted January 18, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

        The IPCC are not the only people who have stated the himalayas are melting.

        466 glaciers in the himalayas were studied by a team of Indian scientists in 2007, using satelite data and field measurements. They found 21% deglaciation since 1962. That's huge, any way you cut it.

        You can read the report for yourself at http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/jan102007/69.pdf

    • waramess
      Posted January 18, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      At some point weather and climate change become one and the same thing. Just a matter of time.

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted January 18, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      No, we don't. Even the IPCC don't say this anymore.
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/701171

  8. Richard Manns
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    @ SimonC

    No doubt that it could be explained by global warming; there are many factors in climate after all, and I for one think that CO2 warming is one of them.

    But a theory is not a theory if it can explain, post-hoc, anything that happens. The only theory worth keeping is one that gives predictions and is either right or partly right and further refined by real-world observations.

    So you can't say "ah, but the theory predicts cooling too" after the event. If it predicts everything, then it predicts nothing. One way would be to look at salinity changes in the North Atlantic; does anyone know if this has been done? This would strengthen the theory quite well.

    • Ian
      Posted January 18, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      How many times does the difference between short-term weather and long-term climate have to be explained?

      Global warming predicts that long-term the climate is warming, and that this will have a dramatic effect on the planet. This could involve some areas cooling (e.g. UK if the Gulf stream stops) but on average (that means over a period of years not days, across the whole planet, not just here) it predicts that temperatures will be higher.

      It does NOT predict the specific short-term local weather!

      "So you can’t say “ah, but the theory predicts cooling too” after the eve" – who is saying it 'predicts cooling'? It doesn't predict anything short-term, and long-term it predicts warming.

      • Richard Manns
        Posted January 18, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        @ Ian

        "who is saying it ‘predicts cooling’?"

        Well, SimonC did: "The recent bad weather… …can be explained in terms go[sic] global warming."

        That was why I criticised him.

        Otherwise, I agree with you, although I tire of the "dramatic" eco-porn that produced the hockey-stick graph; such poor science helps no-one.

        • Ian
          Posted January 19, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

          SimonC stated quite correctly that general warming of the climate could explain localised cooling in the UK (not predict it – a long-term theory cannot predict local short-term specifics) if it (the general warming) caused the reversal, slowing or re-direction of the Gulf Stream.

      • Amanda
        Posted January 19, 2010 at 12:11 am | Permalink

        Nope you are incorrect. Global warming is only predicted by a model, that has been fed 'cherry picked' data, and basically fudged in its calculations, so that it shows what (certain-ed) people with vested interested wanted it to show, in order to extort money from honest citizens !!

        The met office now use this 'useless' ' climate model' to forecast our weather, and for five years they have got it WRONG. And on the back of these forecasts grit and salt has not be stockpiled for the winter, which has led to lethal condition for many people. The cost of this climate model to the economy and health is enormous. Do the met office and government planners not know the difference between weather and climate either?

        Finally, please tell me why various weather events, eg floods, or a warm day in February have been jumped on by the likes of the BBC and GW scientists as proving the global warming of the climate. Perhaps they don't appreciate the difference between climate and weather either !!

        Global warming is a scam, its been found out, you've lost the arguement, accept it.

      • Andrew Duffin
        Posted January 19, 2010 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        So if the whole globe cools (or even stays pretty much the same) for a period of, oh I don't know, how about eleven years, then maybe the warmists might be wrong?

        Checked the facts recently?

        No warming since 1998.

        They have never managed to predict ANYTHING correctly, and when asked for the data or the methods, they clam up, conspire against us, hide or destroy data, or just resort to abuse.

        It's time to stop taking any notice of these people.

        • Ian
          Posted January 19, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

          "So if the whole globe cools (or even stays pretty much the same) for a period of, oh I don’t know, how about eleven years, then maybe the warmists might be wrong?"

          Well for a start, the whole globe hasn't cooled or stayed pretty much the same – last decade was the warmest ever. Just because 1998 was the warmest year ever doesn't mean the trend isn't still upwards, which it is. 1998 was exceptionally warm, that's all.

          And even if it had cooled or stayed the same over eleven years (which it hasn't) climate changes are measured over 30 years, not 11.

      • Y Rhyfelwr Dewr
        Posted January 19, 2010 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        You're going to have to explain it a lot more, because you're not convincing anybody at the moment.

        The scientists seem to have this notion that "I've got a doctorate; therefore, you should listen to me because I'm cleverer than you." What they seem not to comprehend is that we, the people, don't have to listen anything anything anybody ever says. You warmists need to convince us that you:
        a) know what you're talking about, and
        b) are people of integrity who wouldn't lie, fudge, falsify or "hide the decline."

        If your community can conduct itself with exemplary honesty for some time to come, then people may start to pay attention to you again. But huffy exclamations along the lines of "If I've told you this once, I've told you a thousand times" will get you absolutely nowhere.

        • Ian
          Posted January 19, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

          If a doctorate doesn't convince you that someone knows what they're talking about, nothing ever will. Of course you don't have to listen to them, but if I wanted to know something, I'd rather ask someone with a doctorate in the subject, than someone who didn't.

          "we, the people, don’t have to listen anything anything anybody ever says. You warmists need to convince us"
          How do we do that if you won't listen?

          Just in case you still are listening, the difference between short-term weather and long-term climate is not difficult to grasp – weather is short-term, localised and changes quickly, whereas climate is long-term, global, and changes slowly. It's like a share price, which although it's rising on average over a year, may show signifcant variations.

        • Y Rhyfelwr Dewr
          Posted January 20, 2010 at 9:50 am | Permalink

          It's not the doctorates that are the problem. It's the lies. The spin. The re-classification of journals that don't toe the party line. The "hide the decline." The "ice-free arctic." The "glacier-free Himalayas."

          Doctors can tell porkies too.

  9. Norman
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    How could this have happened? Wasn't the IPCC paper peer reviewed and based on settled science? I'm leg pulling with the second remark but I do think that governments need to look at how this apparent error did manage to enter into a paper of such import.

  10. Paul
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    You may remember the Maldives and their underwater cabinet.

    We went on honeymoon to the Maldives. We were told at the time that in 20 years time it would be largely submerged. Our 20th anniversary is next year ; I'm not holding my breath.

    • ken from glos
      Posted January 18, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      I agree. I have been going to the maldives for 18 years and the water level has not risen at all during all that time.

      • Stuart Fairney
        Posted January 19, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, it has actually fallen by 4cm but don't worry this is explained by global warming causing evaporation of the oceans, or something ~ nothing to see here, move along.

  11. Martin
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    The difference between Meteorology and Climatology must be noted.

    One is short term, the other long term. Climatologists have to worry about sea salinity, global dimming, planetary orbits and a host of other factors. Climate fluctuations could just as well take us to an ice age as a hot house. Neither is desirable!

    A cold winter or wet summer does not mean the Climatologists are wrong even if the Meteorologists were way out.

    Unfortunately meteorology is a bit like economics, important but not not as accurate as we would all like. I advise checking a number of different forecasts.

    • waramess
      Posted January 18, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      I guess we have not been around long enough to look at the long term

      • Martin
        Posted January 18, 2010 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

        Yes and no. The records are thin and incomplete.

        A couple of big volcanoes could erupt and give us some extra global cooling. The climate change models are all kind of scary. Some might argue we are overdue an ice age! Others give a hot house.

        You pay your devalued Pounds and takes your chances.

        Given the UKs fragile economy and North Sea Gas running out we have to cut our energy consumption and get more domestic energy production(Nuclear, Wind and storage schemes).

    • Amanda
      Posted January 19, 2010 at 12:14 am | Permalink

      It is far more pertinent to note the difference between truth and lies !!! Between honest science, and vested interests !!

      And we have.

  12. Kevin Peat
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Carbon Credits:

    Why wait until a polluting activities are undertaken before planting trees ?

    Why not plant trees pro-actively ? We could reverse the effects of pollution from the past and counteract pollution of the future before it's even happened.

    Oh silly me ! I forgot the middle bit – the most important bit …

    … taxation.

    • Peter
      Posted January 18, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      Quite right Kevin.

      Unfortunately, the 'tree' thing couldn't work.

      What tends to be forgotten is that the demon CO2 that we must all cut is actually an essential life-giving carbon source for plants.

      So, if we set about reducing the amount of carbon available to plants (CO2) to grow and create leaves, whilst at the same time planting more trees, we will simply end up with an increaed amount of smaller trees.

      Nature always finds a way to balance things and I am in stitches watching world leaders pontificating about how buying and selling the rights to produce a life-givig gas will save us all from disaster.

      The reality is very simple. The last economic collapse was merely an indicator that the current financial system is unsustainable and a much worse financial collapse is inevitable (if you understand the basics of a capitalist economy).

      Therefore, a new currency (not hampered by deflation) was required. This is the sole purpose of trading carbon credits and derivatives.

      There will be no net reduction in CO2 (thank god). All that happens is that CO2 'emitters' pay CO2 'absorbers', and continue to emit. It is merely a new stock exchange, to replace the old, dying one.

      Anyone who believes otherwise – or that politicians have suddenly become concerned and noble is sadly deluded.

    • Ian
      Posted January 18, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      Plant how many, where, paid for by what … oh yes, silly me, that would have to be

      …taxation

  13. Bob Eldridge
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Climate Change is a natural and continuous process. Temperature variations are normal. London had its own vineyards two hundred years ago, Vine Street was named because of them. In the 18th century the Thames would freeze over quite normally.
    Of course we should conserve, reuse and recycle, but the hysterical calls about carbon are very misguided and smack of the "keep the electorate scared" tactics of lawmakers. Remember CJD, AIDS and the various flues, let alone the Mileneum Bug.
    It does look as if terrorism will replace the carbon scare over the coming year. Lots of controlling laws to "Protect the public"
    What will happen to all those council carbon jobs built on the CO2 myth. Think of the savings to be made there.
    Bob Eldridge

  14. JohnRS
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Of course the cold weather can also be explained in many other ways, most of which also explain the various warm/cool periods during recent recorded history. None of these require the magic of Mann-made global warming as either a cause or an effect.

    Re the IPCC, it is not a scientific organisation but a political one. Its charter is all about pushing the global warming fallacy and not about fact-based scientific investigation. Its bias is structural. So don't expect any major change in its objectives or behaviours of creating new unelected adminstrative overlords for us all funded by new taxes on the western economies.

    Re the BBC, it wont matter which source of data they use for their forecasts as all the staff are firmly wedded to the religion of the Green God. Listen to any presenter talk about any event outside a studio from wether to gardening to farming to holidays and you'll hear them refer to global warming at some point even when it has bearing on the programme. Without a wholesale clearout or a massive re-education program the BBC will continue to be the IPCC's mouthpiece.

    • waramess
      Posted January 18, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      I'll bet the IPCC wish they had forcast Global Freezzing with cool wet summers and cold harsh winters….

    • Ian
      Posted January 18, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      "Re the IPCC, it is not a scientific organisation but a political one. Its charter is all about pushing the global warming fallacy and not about fact-based scientific investigation. Its bias is structural."

      No it isn't: http://www.ipcc.ch/organization/organization.htm

      • graphicconception
        Posted January 18, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

        "No it isn’t"

        Oh yes it is! See: http://www.ipcc-wg3.de/news/summary-description-o

        That says that they consider only human-induced climate change. Working Group 1 does this. WG2 already knows the answer WG1 will get so it can work out how bad things are going to be. WG3 also knows what WG1 will find and will decide how to fix it.

        Consider other clues: "InterGOVERNMENTAL", Number of scientists employed by the IPCC, how much scientific research it does (see your own link, for example).

        Also, if the stories are to be believed, take into account that they 1. Write the Summary for Policymakers and then, some time later, make the research fit what they have written.
        2. Re-write what the scientists have agreed and ignore any dissent.

  15. Adam Collyer
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Credible forecasts we can monitor?

    They're a long way from that. At the moment they can't even get the past to match their models. Which, according to them, means the past is wrong and their models are right.

  16. Steve Tierney
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    its interesting that the warmists can literally turn ANYTHING into evidence for global warming?

    Floods – that's global warming.
    Cool summer – global warming.
    Freezing winter and record snow – global warming.
    Sea falls – GW.
    Sea rises – GW.
    Ice melts -GW.
    Ice grows – GW.

    It's such a "flexible' theory that it seems there's an explanation for every eventuality. Wonderful idea really. It seems impossible to prove wrong. The perfect confidence trick, some might say.

    • Olaf
      Posted January 18, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      Apparently AGW was responsible for both Sinetta and Bobby Davro being put out of Dancing on Ice.

      And is also responsible for 9/11, the Titanic and Plan 9 from Outer Space which was a great film until a day of excessive heat/cold (delete where evidence exists) caused the ink of the script to run.

      The greatest con of all is that even if AGW was undeniable it is still more economical to deal with its consequences than to cripple ourselves with tax to prevent it.

  17. BillyB
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Don't let the facts get in the way of a good argument

    Looky here – http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/anomalygra

    last summer WAS warmer than average.

    If you read their original prediction it was

    20% chance of being below average
    30% chance of being average
    50% chance of being above average

    and it turned out above average.

    • Norman
      Posted January 18, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

      Wasn't the term 'barbecue summer' bandied about? When I think of barbecues I think of meat sizzling to a lovely brown on a nice hot grill. I don't think of holding a steak about a cigarette lighter.

      As for your prediction percentages, why didn't the Met Office simply say (instead of forecasting a barbecue summer) 'There is a 50% chance that the summer will be warmer than average and a 50% chance it won't be'. That to me would be more sensible and less liable to be taken for people as crying wolf when they predict barbecue summers and mild winters then we experience a slightly above average summer followed by the coldest Christmas period in living memory.

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted January 18, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      As I am sure you realise, 50% of absolutely anything will be above it's average

      • BillyB
        Posted January 19, 2010 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

        not strictly true statistically – look up skewness

        • Stuart Fairney
          Posted January 20, 2010 at 11:01 am | Permalink

          Yes, you are quite right, I was confuring my mean, median and mode.

    • tim78945
      Posted January 19, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Interesting. Funny though that your link takes us to the Met office's historical monthly data "Climate Summaries" with monthly averages.
      http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/

      I thought we were meant to call it weather, not climate?
      You would think the Met Office could at least get that right.

      • BillyB
        Posted January 19, 2010 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

        It is comparing each year against a 30-year average (so justifiably tagged as "climate")… if we are experiencing local (UK) warming or cooling this would show up here over the years. If not there would be no predominant anomaly.

        It was a handy graphical summary of 2009 weather that just happened to be within their climate pages.

        The Met Office were (rashly) predicting "odds-on for a barbecue summer", yet from their own %ages, warmer than average was 50% which is only even-money. I think that maybe they'll be more careful with their wording in future, now their contract with the Beeb is up for review. Or perhaps they will stick to 24hr to 5-day forecasts.

  18. John Bowman
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Climate is a multi factor, mathematically chaotic system. A chaotic system produces an infinite number of possible outcomes none any more certain than another. The response by the general environment to any particular climate condition is also chaotic also with an infinite number of possible outcomes.

    Thus we have a system with an infinite number of possible outcomes, any one of which can cause an infinite number of possible outcomes within the environment none any more likely than another.

    Short range weather predictions are more accurate because they rely on actual observation: ground stations; radar; satellites which see and track weather systems approaching. Weather in the longer term as an average is climate, and you cannot see this coming.

    The only credible prediction for climate and effect on the World is "we don't know". The lack of credibility comes from so called scientists saying they can predict the unpredictable and expecting people to take them more seriously than Mystic Meg.

    As for ocean oscillation. It is known they happen, but exactly how and why they happen is, theorised about, but largely unknown.

    The current cold snap cannot be explained by Arctic Sea ice melt because recent ice melt has been no greater than it was prior to 2007 when Summer melt was unusually low and in any case not caused by global warming.

    Ocean oscillation and cloud behaviour are specifically missed out of the famous computer models which predict the UK's BBQ Summers and mild Winters, despite their dominant contribution to weather patterns and thus climate, specifically because they would introduce such wide scale variability that even the Met Office's super-computer is not powerful enough to calculate all the permutations and outcomes, and in any case the possibilities being infinite means all would not br computed until the end of Time. This would detract from the message that CO2 alone from fossil fuels is in charge of the World climate and Mankind's destiny.

    It seems scientists in a number of fields have become the modern day High Priests of the Auguries, reading the entrails of computer programmes rather than chickens and goats – with the same reliability.

  19. Eotvos
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Apparently the year was transposed from 2350 and was arrived at by an Indian scientist using the non – scientific process called, complete guesswork. A journalist from New Scientist called him and wrote it up as fact and the story was given credence by the UN. (See Climate Depot website).

    Mr Hirst, Head of the Met Office is an economist by trade. He is humiliated by Andrew Neil in an interview posted on AN's blog and Youtube.

    The Met Office seems to have morphed into an organisation more interested in being a mouthpiece of the Labour government's climate propaganda than anything objective like weather forecasting.

    Yet another organisation that needs to make its own way in this world without the benefit of taxpayers' money.

  20. Johnny Norfolk
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    They cannot and that is their problem.

  21. oldtimer
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    The significance of this report is the unreliability of the "evidence" deployed to make a point in IPCC predictions. This may prove to be not the only occasion when IPCC predictions are shown to be based on shaky foundations.

    It would seem that those scientists investigating the subject have discovered that all is not as cut and dried as we have been led to believe. Not the least of the difficulties has been the effort to establish just what the raw data is, where it came from, what has been added to it (the modifications) and what has been left out.

    I am in favour of the rigorous application of scientific methods. At the moment I am inclined to believe that we have been fed a load of FUD – fear, uncertainty and doubt.

  22. MaxVanHorn
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    If I understand Chaos Theory correctly, then even if all the facts known are correct,it is impossible to make predictions.All these highly technical arguments are hot air.

    • Eotvos
      Posted January 19, 2010 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Max, you understand correctly. Stochastic, chaotic systems cannot be modelled, even in principle.

  23. Arthur Gibson
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    The Met Office has a forecasting program that is designed to generate forecasts that tie in with their global warming beliefs. If reality conflicts with the model, then surely the reality is at fault?

  24. Peter Whale
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Can anyone tell me what weather would denote no global warming?

    • waramess
      Posted January 19, 2010 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      How about snow at South Korea airport in January? Unheard of!

      Until last week

    • JubileeClip
      Posted January 20, 2010 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Dead right. Its important to know how to define when "Global Warming" is no longer happening, because then we will know that the "Global Warming" taxes on flights etc have done their job and we can stop paying them. Can our Government, which imposed these taxes, give us the definition ? Surely, if they have sufficient information to justify levying taxes, they also have enough information to describe the circumstances the taxes are supposed to achieve ?

  25. Bishop Hill
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Magelec

    "I suggest all politicians read Christopher Booker’s book entitled ‘The Real Global Warming Disaster’."

    On the contrary. I feel certain they should be reading my book. 😉

  26. michaelmph
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    The IPCC document is a shabby piece of propaganda, Even more shameful and lightweight is the 1996 Stern Review, now revealed as Blair's second 'dodgy dossier' which was produced as "essentially a propaganda exercise in the support of the UK government's policy of seeking a world leadership role on climate change", to quote Nigel Lawson from his excellent book 'An Appeal to Reason'.

    To get to the root of this and before more millions of tax dollars from our fuel bills and the carbon exchange are redirected to (global warming enthusiasts') coffers, we need ALL the scientific evidence collated by the CRU and Hadleigh Centre, along with their cronies in the MET Office and others, to be put in the public domain. It can then be subject to peer group review and proper scientific discussion. The whole basis of scientific method is that you can't prove anything in science. You gather the evidence and propose a theory to explain it; you then publish your theory and evidence to be challenged by your peers. It is this which the CRU/ Hadleigh and others have succeeded in preventing, with the help of politicians, as shown in their Climategate emails. You can ONLY DISprove a theory in science. The (words left out) so-called 'scientists' at Hadleigh and the CRU are in this (word left out) up to their necks with their selective use and misuse of data which suits their theory, and ridiculous forecasting models which can produce any output the politicians want. Whilst ensuring, of course, that their organisations/ departments continue to get taxpayer's millions from the politicians to (words left out) empire build. As is the usual rule in these cases, follow the money. Shameful!

    • michaelmph
      Posted January 18, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      Oops! Stern was 2006, not 1996 of course.

  27. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    I don't suppose there is any hope that Cameron will get your party off the man-made global warming hook on which he has so regrettably and deliberately impaled it?

  28. Nicholas Hallam
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    The man responsible for the ludicrous prediction, Syed Hasnain, now works for Pachauri's TERI which has received funds to investigate the retreating glaciers. Pachauri may now disown the prediction but TERI has done pretty well out of it. Richard North has the details.

  29. Francis Irving
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    @Steve – you could just as well say that you turn anything into saying that global warming isn't happening. Fact is that CO2 is chemically proven to hold in energy. Where's your proof that it isn't warming the planet?

    I'm being unfair. The proof either way is more complex than that. It is trying to predict the future of a complex system.

    It can't ever be sure. It is only ever a guess, a matter of probabilities, which is why IPCC reports use that terminology.

    This is about risk, and always has been.

    If you saw a crack in your house, and the builder said it was 90% chance of subsidence and it needed pinning… Sure, you'd get another quote, but if 9 out of 10 builders said it needed pinning, you'd go for it.

    Losing your house is too much of a risk.

    • graphicconception
      Posted January 18, 2010 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

      "Fact is that CO2 is chemically proven to hold in energy. Where’s your proof that it isn’t warming the planet?"

      Not even the IPCC claims that there is enough CO2 in the atmosphere to cause any serious damage by itself. If memory serves, it is only 4% of the available greenhouse gases. Of that, only 3% is man-made.

      The hand waving starts when they try to say that CO2 influences the amount of water. This ignores the fact that the ice core data says that the temperature rise happens prior to the CO2 rise which suggests that CO2 merely follows the rise in tempoerature rather than causes it.

      "I’m being unfair"

      Agreed. The onus of proof has to be on the proposer of the theory. If I claimed that all clouds would be pink with green spots by 2050 I do not expect that you would be able to find a single peer-reviewed paper that refuted my claim. That does not make my theory right, though.

      "if 9 out of 10 builders said it needed pinning, you’d go for it."

      Not necessarily. If the quotes were all several times the value of my house then I would consider other courses of action. I have yet to see an AGW cost benefit analysis that makes any sense.

    • waramess
      Posted January 19, 2010 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      What happens when you can't see the crack but the builder tells you your house needs underpinning?

    • James Morrison
      Posted January 19, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Using your argument, it is clear that we should be happy that Climate Change isn't caused by the actions of man given that 31,000 scientists have signed the Oregon Petition oposing the Kyoto Protocol, specifically saying:

      "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth."

      Whereas only 2800 scientists are allowed to contribute to, or review, any IPCC report.

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted January 19, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      "Where’s your proof that it isn’t warming the planet?" Those making the assertion are required to produce the proof surely, not the other way around.

      Your metaphor is inappropriate. You would be wise to assess the crack pattern and the soil, the original foundation design, whether anything has acted upon the concrete in the foundations if indeed there are any.

      I would be concerned if the builders who said that the foundations were fine were denounced as deniers by a vocal bunch of foundation lobbyists and personally attacked rather than having their points addressed.

      I would be concerned if the initial wild predictions of imminent structural collapse seemed wide of the mark and the house remained, more so if the static nature of my house apparently proved the foundations were compromised, post-facto.

      No, I don't think I would listed to lobbysists with a vested interest and the ability to make literally billions from convincing everyone to have their foundations underpinned.

      But then, I'm just a foundation denier.

    • Bob E
      Posted January 19, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      Francis then why is it always about CO2? What about Methane or Water. Both are contributers to the greenhouse effect.

      The abundance of methane in the Earth's atmosphere in 1998 was 1745 parts per billion, up from 700 ppb in 1750. Methane can trap about 20 times the heat of CO2.

      Why is methane ignored?
      Bob

  30. Mike Stallard
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    In the Catholic Church we had a letter from the Pope about this subject. It was read out in every Church in UK – and, I assume – in the whole world. As far as I can understand it it said this:
    We have got to look after our God given planet very carefully because it is a sacred trust. If we are greedy or if we hog and use up all the best bits, then there are going to be terrible wars and the destruction of the environment.
    Or words to that effect.
    There is a very subtle emphasis here which the Greenies miss.
    See if you can spot it…..

    • waramess
      Posted January 19, 2010 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      No, can't see it. What's the answer?

      • BillyB
        Posted January 20, 2010 at 12:02 am | Permalink

        too subtle for me too

  31. Alex Cull
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    There's a rumour that the 2035 deadline for the complete disappearance of the Himalayan glaciers was due to a misreading of 2350 – "2350" became "2035", and by a rather unscientific process of Chinese whispers, this accelerated timetable became enshrined in IPCC lore.

    Senior Indian glaciologist Vijay Kumar Raina has gone on record stating that he doubts that the Himalayan glaciers are shrinking rapidly in response to climate change. Although most glaciers in the region appear to have been growing during the 19th century and shrinking since the early 20th century, he concludes that in the last few years many have stabilised or advanced and others have started to recede more slowly, including the famous Gangotri and Siachen glaciers.

  32. Javelin
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    What a load of rubbish. Climate hasn't changed since the middle ages. Go away and stop wasting our time.

  33. Yorkshireman
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    Dr Roy Spencer, the Climate Scientist who developed NASA's satellite weather monitoring programme provides some interesting comments on the latest temperatures.
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-tempera

    In addition, the attached link to an extract of Roy Spencers testimony before congress on climate change is well worth watching. Spencer points out that most of the climate change is natural……..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qzf6z-oHP8U

  34. Yorkshireman
    Posted January 18, 2010 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    "There is a new caution afoot about global warming predictions, in the wake of the controversy about Mr Gore’s forecast that the Arctic sea ice could disappear in a few years."

    "Arctic Sees Massive Gain in Ice Coverage September 3, 2008"

    "Increase twice the size of Germany: "colder weather" to blame.

    Data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has indicated a dramatic increase in sea ice extent in the Arctic regions. The growth over the past year covers an area of 700,000 square kilometers: an amount twice the size the nation of Germany.

    With the Arctic melting season over for 2008, ice cover will continue to increase until melting begins anew next spring."

  35. Richard
    Posted January 19, 2010 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    David Cameron needs to prepare the ground for a possible climb-down on this issue when in government if and when the scientific consensus changes and the AGW theory is determined to have been grossly exaggerated. A possible route – which would not involve 'denial' of AGW – would be to say that if the theory is correct, a huge change in public policy and behaviour will be needed, this can only happen with overwhelming public acceptance of the AGW theory which plainly doesn't exist at the moment. Therefore the Conservatives will hold a public enquiry into the scientific questions. Advocates of the AGW theory and sceptics should be invited to submit papers and to give evidence and must agree to public questioning by their opponents. A report should then be prepared by people who are not already on record as supporting one side or other in the debate, following which the House of Commons should debate the issue anew.

  36. Y Rhyfelwr Dewr
    Posted January 19, 2010 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    the IPCC, the UN’s climate change specialists, is about to remove its forecast that the glaciers of the Himalayas will melt away by 2035

    It seems this starting out as an idle speculation which ended up being quoted as gospel truth by peer-reviewed journals. What's more, the man who originally speculated idly ended up in a very cushy and sumptuous job as a result — not that he ever tried setting the record straight, it seems.

    James Delingpole on the Telegraph blogs has the story:
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole

  37. David B
    Posted January 19, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    In the long term it predicts warming – but how do we know this where is the proof of this happening. Where are the stats. No major global warming prediction has come true. In the 1970's there were predictions that London would be flooded by the year 2000. These were made shortly after the same scientists predicted the on set of the next ice age

  38. SimonC
    Posted January 20, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    I *thought* my comments were measured enough not to attract any unreasonable criticism, but it seems not.

    As I said in my first post, the recent cold weather could very easily be a weather blip, and nothing to do with climate at all. After all, there have been other blips like this every 20 years on average.

    And to answer the point that "here's an new and convenient theory to answer the cold weather" the BBC horizon program I linked to was produced in 2003, so that's hardly a "new theory"

    On balance, I think that man has influenced the climate and I think there is enough evidence that climate is changing and warming is quite strong.

    But, I am very firmly against the "there is no argument" and the "the science is settled" stances that get trotted out every time someone disagrees with one prediction or report. Quit frankly, that kind of approach is guaranteed to get people's back up and make people question more, not less.

    Ho humm. I hope that's not set the cat among the pidgins again…

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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